Dear, Maine,

The vigil held at St. Peter and Paul's Basilica in Lewiston, Maine, in the wake of the tragic mass shootings, was nothing short of extraordinary and profoundly moving.

It left everyone in attendance breathless and in awe.

As I arrived, the sun had just begun to dip below the horizon, giving a golden hue to the basilica. It felt as if the heavens themselves were joining in our collective unity.

The air was thick with shared grief but also with a never-ending sense of resilience and love.

Dave Dostie Photography
Dave Dostie Photography

The City of Lewiston LA Metro Chamber put on this vigil, fittingly naming it: "OneLewiston Community Vigil."

We had sports commentator and Lewiston native, Tom Caron host the night.

This was a heartbreaking gathering but the grandeur of the basilica playing host to the event was fitting.

As I walked into the church I was blown away with the energy of strength flowing in the air. I gave our Mayor, Carl Sheline a well-deserved hug and found my seat. I felt fortunate to have a seat as the crowd overflowed, extending beyond the confines of the basilica, with thousands of individuals in attendance.

Dave Dostie Photography
Dave Dostie Photography

Outside were hushed tones of the crowd, with the sounds of crying and sadness, candles flickering in the night breeze which created an atmosphere of profound reverence.

We listened, we cried, we prayed, we were one. Together we began to heal.

People from all walks of life came together to honor the victims and support one another. We had readings from Reverends of all religions that are followed in Lewiston.

It was a testament to the human spirit's capacity to find solace and inspiration in times of adversity.

We also had Kevin Bohlin, a Deaf Community Leader, do ASL for those we lost in that community.

The emotional speeches, heartfelt prayers, and uplifting music that filled the basilica seemed to lift the weight from our hearts, if only for a moment.

Together, we found solace, strength, and the determination to heal.

Dave Dostie Photography
Dave Dostie Photography

In the midst of sorrow and heart-wrenching pain, this vigil at St. Peter and Paul's Basilica showed us the beauty and resilience of the human spirit. The night left a lasting impression on all of us who were fortunate enough to witness it.

The darkness of that fateful day consumed us all every minute of every hour throughout the weekend but last night's vigils shined as a beacon of hope to that darkness and a testament to the enduring power of all of us.

I am Lewiston

We Are Lewiston

We Are Maine Strong


Lizzy Snyder

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